Insect Disturbances in Forest Ecosystems

Authored by: Daniel Kneeshaw , Brian R. Sturtevant , Barry Cooke , Timothy Work , Deepa Pureswaran , Louis DeGrandpre , David A. MacLean

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447

10.4324/9781315818290.ch7

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Abstract

Tree-feeding insects are ubiquitous in forest ecosystems. While relatively few species cause widespread mortality, insect outbreaks are important ecological disturbances that, in some cases, can have devastating economic effects. Insect outbreaks have been considered in the context of forest disturbances for decades (Mattson and Addy 1975). However, the interest of forest managers and policy makers often waxes and wanes in cycles that follow the population dynamics of the insects themselves, despite the fact that the area affected by insect outbreaks in Canada, the United States and Europe is greater than that disturbed by fire or harvesting (FAO 2014; Kneeshaw et al. 2011) (Figure 7.1).

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